You know what insurance marketing automation is, what it can do for agent onboarding, and why it’s important. Now let’s show you how it works.
In the insurance industry, long-term commitments between agents and carriers can be rare. Just like a healthy marriage, it takes work to keep that spark alive.
If you’ve read our two previous blog articles, you know agent retention rates are low, especially in those first, few crucial months that are make or break for a new agent’s success and retention. You also know that stronger investments in more efficient onboarding and engagement strategies can mean the difference between happily ever after, or a bad break-up.
So you’re ready to take our relationship advice. You’re ready for a long-term commitment with your agents. You’re ready to implement marketing automation into your agent onboarding and engagement process.
We’ve told you what marketing automation is, what it can do for agent onboarding, and why it is important. Now it is time to show you how it works.
Turn Moments of Agent Interaction into Journeys
All great love stories follow a journey of significant moments that bring two people together – first time meeting, first date, and first dance. These first few moments – the beginning of the relationship – set the tone for the couple’s future. They can help nurture a love that can last a lifetime, or lead to one that quickly burns out.
Just like a lasting relationship, the key to agent enablement and retention is solidified in those first few moments. With marketing automation, you can make moments of agent and policyholder interaction meaningful for them, and for you, the carrier. By coordinating a personalized, continuous, and multi-channel agent experience, you will lead your agents down a path of success, and long-term commitment.
We can help you and your agents get started on that journey.
Newlyweds: Insurance Marketing Automation Campaign for Onboarding
The first step in using marketing automation is to define your business goals. We work with your marketing team to create customer journeys and campaigns that deliver your desired business outcomes.
In this case, you don’t want your relationship with your new agent to be built on a blind date. Setting clear expectations upfront in the relationship will lead to improved results. Your goal is to get your new agents upto speed on carrier appetite and their target market, in a faster, more efficient, and more effective manner.
Digital insurance marketing campaigns combined with risk eligibility engines can really minimize wasted time and effort by your agents and make you easier to do business with.
After working with you to establish your goals, we can help you build an educational campaign designed to improve agents’ knowledge of your target markets and most profitable product offerings. The content would include exposure to tips and tricks to make the agency onboarding and engagement process more efficient.
From there, we have defined a series of steps that will help you to optimize your marketing automation investment for agent onboarding:
- You select the marketing automation platform (for example, Salesforce Marketing Cloud). We make sure it performs the implementations and integrations across all systems, teams, products, and customer segmentations.
- You develop the content you would like to share with new agents, such as onboarding plans, educational documents, and company collateral. We leverage your new or existing content management solutions to house all important information and documents.
- You establish a timeline of sharing content, and deadline calendar for agents to reach certain milestones. We orchestrate a journey that is capable of engaging agents across all communication channels and guides through milestones in a timely, tailored manner.
- You define the metrics that measure success. We build quality data models, perform remarketing segmentations and create customized performance and ROI reporting dashboards.
- You show us how you want your systems to work together. We integrate your marketing automation platform with other tools in your technology stack to best leverage your existing data and analytics capabilities, assets, and investments.
Below is an example excerpt of a journey we might build for a client looking to consolidate and streamline their agency onboarding process. We used Journey Builder within Salesforce Marketing Cloud to construct this journey.
Most onboarding journeys would continue for a year more; however, the example we provided shows the first two weeks. The flow portrays several different paths, utilizing a variety of digital communication channels, that an agent may take during their onboarding, depending on their engagement. Email and SMS content is personalized, and differs based on the agent’s classification.
This flow represents just the first step in a long journey of agent education and engagement. Subsequent steps in the journey might include gamification that rewards agents for reaching certain milestones, like writing a policy within 90 days. Or you can send emails with marketing best practices that helps agents reach the right customers.
Because this journey reacts to each individual agent’s engagement, the agent experiences a one-to-one tailored message ensuring they have a unique and captivating conversation. In addition, the journey can be customized to include A-B testing, which can help the carrier react to metrics and tweak the journey in the future.
By delivering personalized communications and marketing information to agents using better, faster, and higher quality real-time data, you can more easily increase their loyalty and retention.
After the Honeymoon: Marketing Automation for Ongoing Agent Engagement
So you’ve used marketing automation to onboard and educate your agents, and now they are up to speed and ready to sell. But you don’t want the honeymoon stage to end; you want to keep your agents happy long-term. So how do you reap the full benefits of your automation investment while encouraging ongoing agent success?
Just like with onboarding, it is all in a journey of meaningful moments. But, unlike with agent onboarding, these moments are designed with the policyholder in mind.
We can help you create a series of seamless customer journeys that ensure on-brand messages are delivered in the right way, on any device. We can analyze metrics, data, and customer interactions to determine what’s working, and what isn’t. We can also help you segment lists and target exactly the right customers, at the right time.
But it’s not all about the customer. In fact, with marketing automation, the agent can play the most important role – the facilitator. We can help you build an Agency Communications Platform (ACP) that puts the agent in the forefront of the transaction by connecting them with your corporate marketing team and customers, all at the same time.The ACP also positions your agency force to build long-term customer relationships.
With an ACP, insurance companies can:
- Distribute campaign designs that are aligned and built with specific business objectives in mind. These business objectives can extend far beyond agency onboarding and engagement.
- Centralize content, data, compliance and reports that agents can use to better personalize and manage their own marketing outreach efforts.
- Receive analytical insights from those marketing efforts that your corporate marketing team can use to make future campaigns even stronger.
- Help agents become better marketers by ensuring all your messages are more on brand – turning a once disconnected organization into a better-functioning sales enablement system that provides a rich history of the customer’s engagement.
- Distill complex marketing technology into streamlined processes that non-marketers can leverage with a few clicks.
- Enable corporate marketing to build industry leading communications.
Using the ACP, we can assist you in building out a variety of campaigns that meet your business goals, engage the right audience, and fully engage your agents every step of the way. Below are several examples we might put together for an insurer whose goal is to help agents retain more car dealer policyholders in Boston:
- Retention: Campaign designed to create a set of commercial policyholder touchpoints through the course of the year that present the agent as an expert in the field. These touchpoints are filled with content that will help the car dealerships improve their profitability through loss prevention techniques and affinity services available through carrier and agent to the car dealership (saving the car dealership money).
- Up-sell: Campaign designed to sell enhancements to car dealership policies that are aligned to customer risk management goals (new coverages, new lines of business).
- Cross-sell: Campaign designed to target the employees of the car dealership through the independent agent that owns the commercial policy. This campaign is designed to grow revenue of personal lines through relationships of commercial lines.
Increased opportunities for retention, up-selling, and cross-selling means happier customers, more successful agents, and a better bottom line for you, the carrier.
Make Your Agents Happy, with Insurance Marketing Automation
Whether it’s your first date, your wedding day, or your 50th anniversary, it takes thought and effort to make a relationship last the test of time. As the old adage goes, actions speak louder than words.
And this holds especially true for relationships between insurance carriers and their agents. Carriers must act to ensure their agents are fully educated, onboarded, and engaged to sell, right from the beginning. And agents, in turn, must leverage the tools their carriers give them to pursue and retain customers.
Sustaining the success of both parties can be a balancing act. But with insurance marketing automation, it can be easier to succeed. And with our help, you and your agents can sell happily ever after.